Saturday, Aug. 2 was a good day for me. I also think it was a good day for my nephews, Colin and Ryan, and my brother, Arnie.
We fished the waters of Trial Lake on the Mirror Lake Highway in the Uintah Mountains.
Colin caught six fish, I caught three and Ryan caught one. Ryan actually wasn’t fishing, but when I knew I had one hooked, I told him to watch my pole. He then reeled in a monster. Well, that rainbow was about 10 inches.
Arnie watched all the action, and I think he had a good day, too. He read a book, played with his dog, Belle, and enjoyed the scenery.
I possessed a license and Colin had a license, so according to fishing regulations, we could keep eight. We ended up keeping five. Colin reeled in the biggest fish of the day at about 16 inches. Well, maybe it was closer to 14 inches.
The successful fishing day was the culmination of a week-long camping trip in the Uintahs.
Actually, the week wasn’t too rough in the great outdoors because I stayed in a two-bedroom cabin with a friend for four days while it was raining. Then, my brother and nephews came up to the mountains to finish off the week and fish.
The cabin included all the comforts of home.
Coincidentally, during our stint in the cabin, we watched the 1958 movie “The Old Man and the Sea” based on the Ernest Hemingway book of the same name.
Spencer Tracy is the old man and tries to land a 1,000-pound marlin alone in his small fishing boat. For three days and nights, he battles the fish as a trial of mental and physical courage. He’s able to catch the huge marlin, but then sharks eat half of his prize before he is able to reach shore.
We only fished for about four hours, not 72 hours straight like in the movie.
Back to my fishing trip.
I understand why people use guides when hunting and fishing — they know where to go.
On July 31, I fished a bit in the creek out of Mirror Lake, which I was told is the headwaters of the Duchesne River. I caught a couple of small, wild brown trout, and that was fun. Then, it was up to Mirror Lake where nobody seemed to be catching anything. I know I didn’t.
I had tried Trial Lake last year in the fall and remembered getting bites in an area next to the dam. On the way back down to Kamas on July 31, I fished again at Trial Lake next to the dam. This time the water level was much higher, I knew it was the deepest area of the lake. I ended up reeling in a medium-size trout, but I also watched some Boy Scouts catch several fish near the dam in the corner of the reservoir.
I knew my nephews were coming up to fish on Saturday, and now I knew where I would take them.
Fishing is a bit boring, but can be relaxing. It is even a bit exciting when you start to catch them. My assumption is that plenty of fish are dumped into Trial Lake from the Kamas fish hatchery. It’s still fun to reel in those hungry rainbows.
A lot of the fish I have caught over the years was mainly by fluke. The most I know how to fish is to suspend power bait (the color green worked for us) or a piece of nightcrawler about 3 feet to 6 feet below the surface. Or on a stream, drop the bait in a deep pool and hope a lunker lurks there and is hungry.
After all these years, fishing about once a year, I should probably seek something more challenging. I should take fishing to the next level and learn how to fly fish.
Why dudes like to fish was the subject of a story by Faith Sallie for CBS Sunday Morning. She went trawling for answers.
She learned from fishers that it was primal urge, sort of a sport, excuse not to do much, great way to mono-task. Fishing trips with family and friends meant meaningful bonding time with grandfathers, fathers and sons.
She concluded that men don’t analyze why they love fishing. Why think too hard about a simple pleasure?
“If you consider fishing a sport — and some do — then it’s a very democratic kind of activity. You don’t need to be a tall or strong or agile. You just need to be patient, or drunk . . . on the beauty of nature,” Sallie wrote. “As avid fisher President Herbert Hoover put it, ‘All men are equal before fish.’”
Sallie concluded: “It’s kind of a metaphor for a good life: Try your best, hope for the best, have days when you catch something and days when you don’t, but always, always be thankful for the sound of the water and the sun in the sky and the chance to cast another reel.”